Conflict in the Caucasus: An Early Twentieth Century Military Outpost in Naxçivan, Azerbaijan

Author(s): Chris LaMack

Year: 2023


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Paper / Report Submission (General Sessions)", at the 2023 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Archaeological investigations at the Iron Age hill fortress of Oğlanqala in Azerbaijan’s Naxçivan Autonomous Republic have provided key insight into political complexity in the ancient Caucasus. However, small finds and distinctive architecture attest to an equally compelling (if murkier) early twentieth century past. This paper briefly analyzes historic finds made from 2008-2019 which reveal a small and short-lived military installation, likely associated with the WWI-period Caucasian front between the Russian and Ottoman empires or the tumult of the Russian Civil War and consolidation of the USSR from 1918-1924. Oğlanqala’s strategic position overlooking an important mountain pass was as critical in the unstable Caucasian geopolitical landscape of the early twentieth century as it was in the Iron Age. The outpost at Oğlanqala offers a rare archaeological perspective on a poorly understood WWI and interwar regional historical context, and contributes to a growing body of twentieth century conflict archaeology.

Cite this Record

Conflict in the Caucasus: An Early Twentieth Century Military Outpost in Naxçivan, Azerbaijan. Chris LaMack. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Lisbon, Portugal. 2023 ( tDAR id: 475605)

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Geographic Keywords
Caucasus, Eurasia

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Nicole Haddow